Above left, Dwight stands with three of his grandchildren, Ashlyn, Shae, and TJ Van Weelden; above right, the runaway longhorn steer whose countryside wandering led him three miles from his own homestead to the Van Weelden farm northwest of Sully.
“There never seems to be a dull moment on the Van Weelden farm,” said Jerilyn Van Weelden who lives five miles northwest of Sully with her husband Dwight. The couple had a surprise visitor – a longhorn steer that had wandered from its home – on Monday, June 5. Cattle, hogs, horses, and border collies call the Van Weelden farm home but on Monday, a new visitor sporting horns caught the attention of the Van Weeldens and their granddaughter, Shae.
“My granddaughter came running to me, ‘Grandma, there’s a longhorn cow running outside by our bull lot,’” said Jerilyn. A closer look verified Shae’s discovery, and the Van Weelden’s border collies went to work herding the runaway steer. On its journey, the steer made its way past the Van Weeldens’ hog barn, cornfield, and cattle lot.
As the Van Weeldens were pondering what to do with their surprise visitor, Jacob Peterson, the steer’s owner, pulled into the drive. Peterson had been on the lookout for the runaway steer since it escaped his farm, located three miles northwest of the Van Weeldens’, several days prior.
Peterson, along with Dwight and the Van Weeldens’ border collies Tess and Sketer, herded the cattle into the Van Weelden cattle lot. Dwight sorted him off, put him in the cattle chute, and was able to load the longhorn steer into Peterson’s trailer to conclude the animal’s adventures around the countryside northwest of Sully.